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New US brand name, new policies?

Business Times - 07 Apr 2009


New US brand name, new policies?

Obama's revamp of the American image abroad has won approval; now he must follow through with appropriate action

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE first and probably most important thing that was going for US President Barack Obama during his meetings with world leaders in Europe was that he was not George W Bush.

Indeed, many observers have contrasted the former and current US presidents in terms of their personalities - the gauche and clumsy Mr Bush versus the charming, and urbane Mr Obama, and proposed that the new White House occupant has captivated the world with his charisma while his predecessor had repulsed them with his crudeness.

But that kind of explanation for Mr Obama's rock-star performance in London, Strasbourg, Prague and Ankara, and the perception that he handled the many economic and geopolitical policy issues on the agendas of the Group of 20 (G-20) and Nato summits like an international s…